Top 5, top 5, top 5?
Who’s the G.O.A.T (greatest of all time), who’s top 5?
It’s Hiphop’s number one question and a self-proclaimed title we will continue hearing for a long time!
Here are my thoughts:
First off a top 5 or G.O.A.T makes no sense to me at all, I believe there can only be a top 5 or G.O.A.T through a time period, i.e. 5 year runs; as each time period will crop up new artists, some artists will go into more than 1 time period but other great rappers may just be forgotten, through no fault of their own.
There are always problems with these lists, but a big one is a lack of entry requirements, for example: Andrew 3000, to some should be in this list, but he does not have a solo album, (I’m going to give him a break and say “The love below” is a 3 stacks solo album) but the point remains; he does not have enough solo albums.
Jay-Z? Well he got beaten in a battle by Nas and out rapped by Eminem & Biggie and is more of a commercial rapper than out and out lyrist.
Eminem? No double CD (2pac, Biggie, Nas and Jay-z all did the double), plus some not so great albums and seemed to avoid the Canibus battle when it should have happened.
2pac? Apparently he was not ‘lyrical’ enough.
Biggie? No one has a bad word to say about him, everybody loves biggie but unfortunately for us Biggie passed young in his life/career so it left a lot of unknowns.
Nas? Has had some questionable albums and still avoids the Eminem collaboration.
Despite the tongue in cheek, all the rappers above have a valid claim to the top 5, however so do the following: Lil Wayne, DMX, Scarface, Rakim, Big Pun, Big L, Cam’ron, Mase, Rick Ross, Remy Martin, Papoose, Game, Snoop, Kurupt, Lauren Hill, Joe Budden, Jadakiss, Canibus, Beanie Sigel, Kool G Rap, Raekwon, Red Man, G Dep, Pharoahe Monch, Kanye West, Jean Grae, Royce Da 5’9, Ras Cass, Xzibit, Sticky Fingaz, LL Cool J, Tech N9ne and Pusha T.
Then there’s the new guys: Kendrik Lamar, Big Sean, J Cole, Migo’s Quavo and Young Thug (Drake had to be removed due to ghost writers).
Again, everyone I have listed above has a right to make a claim to top 5 or GOAT, all are great in their own right, so how do we solve this? Well how about a criteria for starters?
- Time period i.e. top 5 from 1990 – 1995.
- Number of albums, I would say a minimum of 4 with a double CD required.
- 100 bars, started by the Canibus every rapper should have to do this.
- Rap for 6-10 mins without being boring, Joe Budden being a master at this, brought something new to hiphop, the ability to rap for 6-10 mins and keep it interesting and engaging, Buddens song ‘10 mins’ is a song that just keeps you hooked in; if you’re not convinced listen to Joe Budden rap for 6 mins in Dumb Out, the song is fire!!!
- Acapella, you got to have a hot Acapella joint, we saw Nas do this brilliantly.
Agree to exclude stuff like:
- Record sales.
- Bad personal decisions, like always getting into trouble.
- Substance abuse.
- Mental health.
- Whether they become record label execs.
Will this ever catch on? who knows, but one thing is for sure, my; top 5, top 5, top 5 debating days are over!
Picture from Genius.com